August 6, 2008
Where the hagdowns sail and the foghorns wail
It did indeed rain here today, so in keeping with the rules, the civic holiday of Regatta Day, and the Regatta itself will be moved the next non-rainy/windy day. That left us with a day free and we knew just where to go.
There's an iconic song here called "Let me fish off Cape St. Mary's" and today Joe and I drove across the peninsula to find out about the place. Dudes, let me tell you, it was one of those days you file away in your heart or your head, one of those days that you tuck into the description of your days on this earth, and can draw on when you have to list out what you did while you were here. If I ever have to describe the earth to an alien, I'll have to try and find a way to explain the things I saw this day.
First, a lesson. A couple of comments and emails yesterday let me know that I need to toss out a little more information out there if people are going to follow properly, so here's a little background. We are in the Newfoundland part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
I have thoughtfully circled it on a map of Canada that I have thoughtlessly boosted from the Government of Canada.
Newfoundland was the last province to join confederation in 1949, but has been inhabited longer than nearly anywhere else in North America... people have lived here since at least 7000 BC and St. John's is the oldest English founded city in North America. The Newfoundland part is an island, far off in the North Atlantic.
Closer look? Sure. This is just the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I've circled the Avalon Peninsula, which is where St. John's is, which is where we are. (Mostly.)
This is a map of just the Avalon Peninsula, taken in the car today, and it shows where we started in St. John's,
and where we ended up in Cape St. Mary's, about 3 hours away by car. (We hear it can be done in 2 hours. We aren't sure how that's happening, but we're pretty sure it's not raining when they do it. That this jaunt across a tiny piece of the province takes 3 hours also gives you an idea of how big this province is.) It was still raining when we got there, but it did let up enough for it not to be a miserable experience, just a damp one. Upon stepping out of the car there were sheep and and a lighthouse overlooking cliffs to the sea, which is just about as cool as I thought things could get,
and then we started walking. It was damp and muddy and I kept hoping that there would be something really excellent at the end of the walk, but by the time that both of my shoes squishing when I walked, I couldn't imagine what it could be. There were irises growing in great swathes where we walked.
Rocks and cliffs are pretty to look at, very pretty indeed, but still a titch on the dismal side. I hate rain so much that it's possible I may have been a cat in a previous life, so there was little joy in me as I walked, I admit it... especially as the grass soaked my pants to the knees. We walked some more, and far off we saw some birds.
Don't see the birds? They're the white on the rocks. Seriously. We walked more all the way around those cliffs... see birds yet? (Yup. Joe has short hair at present.)
Dudes. Birds everywhere. Birds on rocks. Birds in the air. Birds rocking on the sea.
Northern gannet, (gannet are huge, up to a 2m wingspan. That's 6.5 ft.) black-legged kittiwake, murre, razorbill, double-crested and great cormorants, they've all decided that Bird Rock is the place to be, and its a swirling incredible thing. You stand on the edge of the cliff on a spit of rock that juts out, and the birds are on a sea stack right there in front of you.
The noise - I can't even tell you about the noise. It's like some sort of bird plane is landing.. or a bird train is running. There are calls and squacks and no end to the beating of wings and the cries over the ocean. Top that off with the foghorn going off back where we starting walking and it's a cacophony the likes of which I've never heard. We were pretty stunned,
and then the rain picked up again, and back we went along the top of the cliffs through the grass and the iris to the lighthouse and the sheep, and drove back home along a road by the ocean, across the Avalon Peninsula, all the way back to sit in a wee house by the sea, drink tea (and wine) and see if the rain stops for the Royal Regatta.
I love it here.
(PS. If you have any knitted goods to sell, I have it on very good authority that a table can be had at the town festival in St. Brides (a stones throw from Cape St. Mary's) for only $10.)
Posted by Stephanie at August 6, 2008 11:45 PM
Great... now I REALLY want to go to Canada... *runs off feverishly to plan vacation*
Forgive me, but...I'm picturing a heck of a lot of bird poop.
Thanks for the maps and background - I found it most interesting. Beautiful pictures!!
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!!!
Makes my heart ache for Cape Breton.
Newfoundland & Labrador is on my mom's list of places to visit before she dies, and I want to see all the provinces (I've got 5 under my belt thus far - and only two US states left to visit). We've talked for years about going. Next year is India, though, so maybe the following.
It's so beautiful. It reminds me of Ireland - i need to go down east sometime :)
And it's all your fault i'm going around singing
"I's the b'y that builds th' boat and I's the b'y that sails her"
Hip your partner Sally Thibeau!!
Wow! It makes me homesick for Canada. We've been in Australia for the most part of 20 years now.. I'm from BC but we lived in St. John's for 2 years and I loved it. Now you go to my very favorite place in the world, Cape St. Mary's and the Gannet colony. I took photos when I was there and it was very foggy so the photos show more fog than birds. You went on a "large day"! The sound I remember quite well, I can almost smell the mist and Yes Bird Poo too. I was amazed at the amount of other birds there as well. My son was three when we were in NFLLD and he liked the puffins the best. In fact when we came here and saw penguins he thought they were alot like the puffins and we give him a penguin every year now for Christmas. I think I'll have to find myself a puffin this year. My other son was born in St. John's, I think I'll remind him of his newfie background. Thanks so much for sharing your photos with us. The memories from living there are very good ones Enjoy yourselves.
Oh, the wild places are the best. Thanks for the pictures.
What an amazing place. Maybe some day . . . It's on the list!
On September 11, 2001, I read that the gracious people of Newfoundland found that an airliner was diverted there. These lovely people on this horrible day took in strangers and made them part of their family.
While I was here at home and safe...I would like to again praise their graciousness!
I want to visit Canada!
Hmm. Might come when it's sunny and hot, though. Those beaches and mountains... anyone want to send their private plane for me? Australia's just around the corner. Come on, mates Ü
I've only been as far as Prince Edward Island: I have some travelling to do. Such beautiful pictures. Such wildness.
And with the rock-ing cacophony back in his home territory, no wonder Joe got into the music business!
I went to Ireland back in 2000 and it was so much like your pictures. I kept expecting you to find a pub around the corner where you could properly knit on your sock while enjoying a pint. Sometimes the precious beauty of this planet is so stunning and pure that I am brought to tears. It makes me want to run to my bookshelf and grab Pablo Neruda or Billy Collins. Thank you for sharing with us your joy and fog and sheep and socks and birds and family and your journey through life. But why don't you share pictures of your big hair?
Wow. What a beautiful, beautiful place. And the idea of coming back from that walk to a cup of tea and perhaps some wine...perfection.
Reminds me of our honeymoon in Ireland...in FEBRUARY...wet! cold! blustery!...but stunningly beautiful, and always with a hot cup of tea when you got back to the cottage.
After all of the wonderful explanations, I have to ask for one more: what's a hagdown?? The pictures are beautiful, what a great trip = I hope you are relaxing etc despite the rain. Somehow I think the rain would add to the rugged atmosphere! Tho I hope they will be able to hold the Regatta soon, that sounds like fun. Thanks for all the maps, etc - I'd like to plan a trip there! Have fun -
We went to Canada (from California) for our last vacation: Quebec City & Montreal. I'm in love with Canada. Now I want to go to "where the hagdowns sail and the foghorns wail." To heck with the western side of Canada (where we were planning our next trip). Or perhaps I need to see Toronto and Lettuce Knit with Stephanie?
What a fabulous day! Wow! Wish I was there.
Just lovely. Not having your aversion to rain, I can't think of a better day. I'm green with envy.
The SMELL - you didn't mention the smell of the birds that only eat sealife. Phew.
Not to be contrary, but my cat Della loves the rain.
Rain, wind, cliffs and cool sea air? Sounds like heaven to me. Isn't the world a wonderful place? Even when it's not perfect, it's perfect.
Wow--gorgeous pictures! What's amazing to me is the similarity between the cliffs in Newfoundland and the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. I stood on the top of the Cliffs of Moher and thought how crazy it was that there was nothing between me and Canada (except for maybe a few boats!). How cool that it looks so similar on the other side of the pond!
What beauty...thanks so much for taking us with you in these awsome pictures!
The thing I love most about northern gannets? Their eyes! Best eye make-up anywhere!
I have to go there. Must. With the rain, with the slow and the sheep and the ocean and the NORTH. It makes the adventure in my heart just WAKE UP. You've read The Shipping News, I'm sure ...
Let me fish off Cape St. Mary's. I remember that song. I'm sure we sang it in the school choir.
I'm so jealous right now. I miss home!!! I really need to explore the island like a tourist some time it's amazing how the locals don't really know what they have until they leave and see someone elses pictures! I lived there for 21 years and I've never been to that part of the Avalon.
Looks amazing, hope the rain holds ups.. Although in St. John's that might be asking for a miracle.
I was with you until "cacophony". Uh. Where's my dictionary?
At long last, I get to go back to BC tomorrow! Woohoo! It's been too long since my last visit.
Thanks for all the lessons in Canadian history. I love it when you talk about Canada on your blog, and I think Canadian history lessons are something I missed out on in history classes as a kid here in the States.
Thanks for taking me along for the vacation. I would love to visit in real life (I was going to write person!) but this will do for now. Off to bed as my brain is melting. Maybe in dream land I will visit it sooner. Why is it called Labrador?
Thanks for the geography lesson. (And the history lesson. 7000 BC? Holy cow!) But... I'm still looking for Cuckold's Cove and Cape Spear! I want to be able to put my finger on the map at the spot where you took that picture, and neither Google maps nor Mapquest seem to have the landmarks you talked about labeled. Help!
And thanks for the guessing game. It was really fun playing "Where In the World is Yarn Harlot?"
Hope the weather behaves itself for the Regatta!
Ooh, I cannot tell you how jealous I am, both of your vacation and of your sock.
Did any of those thousands of birds poop on your head? That's good luck, you know. Could've been a little crowning glory (ahem) for your damp but excellent day.
That is so gorgeous - I love gloomy, overcast, drizzly, seashore with rocks & the wild irises! Wow - just the touch of color that's needed. My paternal grandmother was born in the other east coast St John's (NB). I wonder if it's like that there too. Maybe I have a genetic predisposition to love such things (my other grandparents were Irish - one was born & lived until adulthood south of Cork near the Atlantic). Yet I do not love seafood.
Oh boy, what a pretty place... It kind of reminds me of Fair Isle... the rocks & cliffs jutting out of the see, the sheep, the birds...
Birds are so amazing. And you have clearly been holding out about your ornithological expertise-- I'd love to be seeing murres... especially if they look as much like Puffins as I've been lead to believe. Glad you made such a nice day of it.
Ah, seeing pictures of that part of the world makes me want to Go THERE NOW.
But I guess until I can afford a transatlantic holiday Scotland will just have to do. I'm always amazed at how similar it seems landscape-wise (and, apparently bird-wise: we saw tons of kittywakes recently). And the weather matches: it's been grey and cold and rainy over here too.
Enjoy your holiday. Keep us posted!
You know what got me? The moss on the stones juxtaposed with your pink knitting..
What a mystic (MISTic) land-before-time kindof place..
"it was one of those days you file away in your heart or your head, one of those days that you tuck into the description of your days on this earth, and can draw on when you have to list out what you did while you were here." What a beautiful and moving statement. And I've been to Newfoundland and seen its beauty, too.
Jean in Maine
Oh how I wish I could hear those birds! What a lovely place to knit.
That place looks so incredible!
What an amazing place even when it is raining. I bet it is gorgeous when the sun is shining. What a summer for rain. Sure it isn't April? I am very happy for you and your family to be enjoying such a beautiful country. Thank you for all the history of your country. "I" really enjoy it. You make me feel as if I am there with you. Thanks again.
With the sounds if the Irish Descentants in my head and the pictures of the East before me, I can't deny there is a tear in my eye. As one of many, many Atlantic Canadians living in Ontario, my next trip home is seeming too far away (really it isn't, I'll be there over Labour Day). Thanks for sharing!
What a gorgeous place! Ironically, it looks very much like the North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii, did when we visited there in May. It had been raining and we visited the lighthouse and the bird sanctuary, though I'm guessing it was warmer there. Thanks for sharing!
I've been in the hospital for over three weeks now. My husband suggested that I spend some of my time here planning a dream vacation that our family can take sometime in the future. I think I might plan that vacation for Canada. Such a beautiful place. You make me wish we could move there!
Thanks for your writing. It's made my stay here much more enjoyable.
I want to move to Newfoundland. Can we have a retirement home there, with please.
Newfoundland is the only province I have never set foot in. I already wanted to go but now I REALLY want to.
You have inspired me to plan a trip north. This would suit both my husband and his desire to walk and photograph and mine to enjoy the town and do a little walking. Thanks,cecilia
Ahhh...such lovely pictures! Made your drive totally worthwhile. The only time I drive three hours, it's on my way to look at another soccer field...not quite the same as what you got to look at.
Keep the pictures coming!
I love Newfoundland and I love Newfoundlanders. I've never lived there, only visited, but pictures of it still make me homesick.
OK, another addition to my list of places I want to visit. I am pretty sure the photos do not do it justice.
That sock is going toe-up, that is a rarity for you I believe?
Sigh. My annual trip to St. John's (for work) has now been forever ruined by the knowledge that I can't use my office's travel funds to get myself to Cape St. Mary's.
...or can I?
Lovely! I think a visit is in order!
Forgive my ignorance, but is a province like a state? Do they have their own government under the national government? You don't need to give me specifics, or even talk that long about it because I probably wouldn't understand anyway. I'm sure we covered this in high school, but I am not so smart at geography.
We spent a week on the NW Newfoundland peninsula (Viking Trail) in June and absolutely loved it. Can't wait to go back and see more - hopefully the St. John's side. We watched gannets on a whale watching trip - amazing birds!
You're knitting something PINK, and it is not for a baby. Must be a gift.
Thank you for the description and the amazing pictures. I needed a mini-vacation this morning. I hope you continue to have a wonderful time.
We've been planning a trip to St. John's since we've been married. You've just clinched it. Now I REALLY need to get my passport renewed.
Absolutely gorgeous....the scenery and the sock. :) All those birds. I can't even imagine the noise.
I love it when the word cacophony comes in handy! FOr no good reason, it's one of my favorite words.
iris, or flags as she called them were my Mother's favorite flower. thanks for showing me the swaths.
Oh, that takes my breath away. I love the wild, lonely places - God grant that at least some of them stay that way! What a wonderful day.
p.s. Like Joe's haircut!
that's $10 Canadian, right?
How on this earth did you manage to take those fabulous pictures? I'm terrified of falling (I used to think it was a fear of heights, but after some introspection I've discovered it's not the height, it's the fall, or, even more accurately, the splat, that strikes fear in my heart). Were your daughters with you? I also have a very deep seated fear of my son falling and whenever we're near a drop off of any height proclaim my enjoyment of the view with "Get back! Right now! You're going to fall and land on your head! Then what will the neighbors think when you get on the school bus with a flat head? Get back!" As you can see it doesn't matter how crowded places are when we get there I thin the crowd pretty quickly.
Bird Rock sounds like something out of Under the Glacier by Haldor Laxness!
Thank you for that short, lovely mental vacation!
Amazingly beautiful. What a find! I love things like that. Now I will have to find a way to travel there. May have to trick my husband into telling him it's a fishing trip...Or just go with some girls who like to look at beautiful scenery.
Keep up the pictures and the tales of the trip.
Having had a herring gull chick stuck on our balcony for a few hours, with the anxious parents unable to get to it, I can start to imagine what the noise of all those birds must be like! (in the end the little chap was picked up by the RSPCA, to be hand reared and then released.)
I'll start saving up the £2 coins for a ferry passage to Canada (we try not to fly), you really are a great ambassador for your country and now I want to visit it.
It is amazing in the pictures, and must have been even more so in person. I do have to say though that the pictures of your sock at the edge of what must have been a very wet and slippery cliff edge made my stomach feel a bit sick.
That is AWESOME. Also - since we're on the subject of beautiful St John's, I'm going to ask for advice from Stephanie or anyone else who can offer any. My fiance and I are Great Big Sea fans and can think of nothing we'd like better than seeing GBS in their natural habitat - possibly even as a honeymoon! Our one question - what's the best way to get there?? We're getting married in Maine so we kind of understand the not near a real airport thing... the GBS lyric "there's not a lot of ocean between Boston and St John's" taunts us... there certainly seems to be a lot of road! Any advice would be much appreciated.
Somehow I'm getting the feeling you and Joe might like to pack up and move out there. Just think, there is fresh air and no humid inferno in summer, just ocean breezes. You can actually watch sheep growing yarn for you. There are rocks and cliffs and birds. And there is Screech for difficult knitting times. Oh yeah, there's winter, lots of it. But then you get to sit inside your colourful house, watch the storm and knit (with your Screech.) Your pictures are spectacular. Just stay away from the edge of those cliffs, okay?
Krisa M, Canada has provinces like the U.S. has states. We have a federal (national) govermnent and then provincial (think sub-national) governments like the U.S., although Canada is a Parlaimentary democracy and not a republic, there are many governmental differences.
In some ways, Canadian provincial governments have more sovreignity than U.S. states, with respect to medical services, education and other matters. Canada has ten provinces and three territories. The wikipedia entry on Canada is a good read if anyone wants to learn more!
I'm vicariously enjoying your vacation to "the East." Would you expand your lesson to the correct pronunciation of "Newfoundland?" I was once in a book club with a "Newfie," and she put the emphasis on the second syllable -- i.e, New-FOUND-land. In
Colorado, we say NEW-fund-land (not like you located something lost, but like you obtained money). What are you hearing the locals say?
Way to go - sharing such a special part of Canada with your readers!!
Sigh, the commenter who said it reminded her of Ireland was right on--really does remind me of what is probably the other side of those same rocks on the west coast. And all the birds. I remember fields of irises like that in County Sligo. I got all teary eyed, knowing I'll probably never get to Newfoundland or Ireland again in my life, being stuck in Texas with no funds. But, you shared, and I thank you.
I love Cape St. Mary's - the drive is lovely, too. I was lucky enough to be there in sunshine, which was simply spectacular. My puppy was less thrilled about having to stay in the car.
I spent many happy hours / days driving the length and breadth of Newfoundland on my own - it has a wild, melancholy beauty that gets under your skin (and perfectly suited my mood in those years.)
Thanks for the geography lesson! It was totally helpful, and now all I want to do is go there! The furthest north I've been is PEI.
Gorgeous. One of the reasons I've been trying to save up enough money to get out of Ontario and spend a good long vacation there with my husband.
Makes you adore Canada all the more to see something like that, doesn't it?
Oh it is so beautiful there! It is now on my list of places to go and be! Now, question, have you seen any Newfoundland Dogs? My understanding is that the Newfoundland breed originated there.
There are many books about Newf dogs that take place there in Newfoundland.
Gorgeous...and those birds are awesome!!! =)
Sounds absolutely divine. ~ksp
I love Cape St. Mary's. I apologize for the weather. It's because I'm on the island too. Seriously. This is the third summer in a row that the day we arrived the weather turned from blamy to dismal and stayed that way. I leave on the 25th...it'll be good again then ;)
Hey, when I googled 'hagdowns' your site was on the top!
I love that you wrote that the birds were rocking on the sea.
OMG!!! So beautiful!! I must visit Canada someday! Thanks so much for the history lesson. I don't know much about the history or geography of Canada but I DO know that Canada has their shit together WAY more than the US does!! :)
Lovely, brings back memories of the time I helped a friend move from Goose Bay, Labrador to Winnipeg. We took the last ferry of the season from Goose Bay to St. John's. Drove all the way around Newfoundland, stopping as few outports on the way to Port Aux Basques to catch another ferry to New Brunswick. Quidi Vidi was the highlight of my trip to St. John's.
I'm sure I'm not the first one to say it, but these cliffs look so much like the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland (sans birds, though--I mean, I don't recall seeing a huge pile o' birds when I was at the Cliffs, but I may have been there during the wrong season)! That's completely understandable, though, since, well, this continent and that used to be connected!
*proud Newfie grin*
Stephanie, you're awesome. In fact, SO awesome that I found your book in the wild in Newfoundland, in my hometown of Twillingate, and took a picture of it!!
I had a visual of the pink sock sailing away on the wind - I hope you were hanging onto the working yarn as you snapped the foto.
No gannet would appreciate it sufficiently, unless they could use it in nest lining!
bette in Texas
Thanks for sharing about those huge birds...what an exquisite place on this waterball. Have a great rest of your vacation.
Huh. There isn't that much ocean between Boston and St. John's.
(Yes, Sue pre-stole my line. On the other hand, I have it right.)
But Blondi, why in the world would you think a Newfie wouldn't know how to pronounce her own province?
What an amazing post. I loved the geography lesson and the pictures. I'm always amazed at how animals get on quite well living their lives with no humans around. We tend to think of ourselves as the pinnacle of life, but to those birds, we must be completely irrelevant.
Wow, Cape St. Mary looks just like the Isle of Skye (at least the part that I visited on my honeymoon). I wonder if they were connected at some point in the geologic past?
(goes off to dig up her old geology textbooks)
Besides the good giggle I now regularly expect when reading your blog, all I could think was, nooooo don't get bird poo on your lovely knitting.
Your pictures brought tears to my eyes...along with very warm memories of our autumn visit to the Maritime Provinces last year...I left part of my heart in Cape Breton! We love your people and your part of the world...how blessed you all are!
Awwww....we were supposed to go to Newfoundland after our encampment at Louisbourg and decided not to because of the price of gas; I knew I'd regret it but now...bitterly! Well, we're doing other things, and we WILL get there. Thank you so much for those. SO much!
By virtue of your blog the tourism dollars are about to rise dramatically for Newfoundland!! What a glorious place! We visited Prince Edward Island, the Bay Fundy and Halifax (complete with a visit to Lucy Neatby's business!). We loved it all! I am dying to return to PEI for two weeks of knitting, exploring and beach sitting. I love Canada!!
When we travelled to the Maritimes three years ago we were told to save Newfoundland for its own trip, and I believe it! We'd probably need a month, because I would love to noodle my way slowly up to L'anse aux Meadows. So glad the sock could see the birds- could there be inspiration for a sweater here? You could call it Guano.
Beautiful and haunting --
I've never been homesick for a place I've never seen -- must be all the Irish blood in me.
Speaking of birds in Newfoundland, rent this one if you haven't already: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295552/
Very neat! I'm actually wishing for some of that coldish dismal weather. It gets just too hot and humid here sometimes. We'll have it soon enough, though.
I wonder, what kind of sheep do you think those were? Some kind of Leicester I think? The birds on the rock were something else! Sort of like watching a National Geographic special.
Hopefully they'll have the Regatta tomorrow!
Oooo!! I never really understood much about Canada, as I spent time there when I was about 5 (speaking in grammatically correct sentences was more important than names I couldn't spell).
The cliffs remind me of a beach in San Francisco and one of my friends, who was leading out little group, decided that we needed to _slide down the side of a cliff_ to get to the beach. Then _climb back up_. XD I love cliffs and the beach. Just cliffs and shore and sea. Lovely.
It looks like the Hebrides! Not surprising really, but it reminds me of the Birthday day trip we took during our honeymoon for my husband's birthday. We drove down the Isle of Lewis to where it turns into the Isle of Harris to look at the famous golden sand beaches. It rained. A lot. So we spent the day driving along teeny little roads, stopping at random for photographs of sheep-dotted scenery, mostly sticking to the car, except for the lovely beach stroll we took in biting winds and more rain. Cold, horizontal rain. On August 29th.
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing" ~ Ted Hughes.
Wow. That is just beautiful.
My late Dad, a Captain in the US Air Force, was stationed in Labrador and Greenland during the war (in the late 40s/early 50s).
I've often pondered the possibility of hitting the road and driving from Ohio all the way to Newfoundland to see what it looks like because it fascinates me.
Any chance of a video with sound so we can hear the bird noises?
I was stationed at Naval Facility Argentia about 2 years before it closed, so your pictures make me very nostalgic. Cape. St. Mary's and so much of that area is just beautiful. Those of you who want more should watch the movie "The Shipping News", which was filmed on location.
When I was there, the story was that the Radisson hotel in St. Johns was the tallest building in the province (believe it was about 15 stories), and that it was built in part to top the previous tallest building in the province, the 13 story Combined Bachelor Quarters on the Argentia base.
As for knitting and Newfoundland, Arg was where I took up knitting for the first time since I learned as a little girl. I finished lots of things up there. The first pair of socks I made (for my xh) was of Briggs and Little worsted, and yes, they're great socks. What they don't stand up against, however, are puppies, and one of the Newf pups we got up there found it useful as a chewing toy...oh well. In fact, I still have tons of the B&L now, and may just make another pair now.
I'd love to go back, but I have a feeling it won't be soon. That makes me sad. Have a good trip!
Thanks for taking us along on such a perfect vacation day!
well - i didn't know you had a newfoundland connection! wish you were travelling to the west coast/corner brook/gros morne and we could meet. maybe next trip!
I hope their tourist bureau is ready for the influx of traffic they will have now that their province has been Harloted.
I must have been a duck in a former life; that weather looks like heaven to me. Newfoundland is the top destination on my list. I have family in several places there and Toronto, that I've never met.
If it rains again tomorrow you could drive down to Freshwater. That's another Canadian history lesson there. The whole of Argentia, including the village where my grandmother grew up on Marquise Neck, was relocated to Freshwater, cemetery, sheep and all, to make way for an American Naval Base during WWII. Winston Churchill tried to give Newfoundland to the US but FDR just wanted that deep water port. It's really a fascinating story.
Newfoundland should make you head of Tourism. You are a great ambassador for Canada.
It really looks to be a magnificent place and I really,really want to visit there--soon.
Do they have a special language there?? It seems like my Canadian friend's husband was there for about 6 monthes(he worked for Molson's) and he said something about unique ways to pronounce words or a unique accent.
Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds"? You're pictures kind of remind me of it...
Ah, now I get a better picture of where you are staying. I kind of knew where Newfoundland is, but since I live more or less around on the other cap of the planet, I wasn't so sure of the details. Thank you!
I'm afraid that I'll have to disagree with you that Newfoundland is one of the earliest inhabited places in North America. Don't get me wrong, I love Newfoundland. My grandfather is from St. Johns (Nugent family, they're supposed to be everywhere). But I'm also an archaeologist and I know that Newfoundland is actually towards the end of when folks started arriving here. Humans were making their way over to North America by 10,000 BC, probably earlier (12,000 BC to 14,000 BC). At that point Newfoundland was still glaciated and folks were coming over the Bering land mass into Alaska and Western Canada. The earliest archaeological sites for the first Americans are in New Mexico, Virgina, and Pennsylvania (I'm sure I'm leaving some big ones out). The first Americans may have also come across the North Atlantic but the glacial ice would have been hard to overcome and they probably would have had to go a bit further south still at that point in time. Research on that migration route is still in its infancy so time will tell. Who knows, there may be an excavation on-going right now that will re-write the entire saga of the peopling of the New World (lots of really entertaining Nova specials about this), but based on the current accepted data, I'm going to have to give the West Coast of North America the honor of the being the earliest inhabited place in the New World.
am greatly enjoying the sharing of your vacation. spent a great time exploring online the Rooms and other links from yesterday's post.
Chris is right about habitation. Sorry. Meanwhile, are there any nice caves for sale up that way? Looks like a gorgeous place for someone who is considering becoming a hermit at present. (I can't believe Joe cut off his hair!)
Stop it! You're making me homesick!
Lovely photos, lovely post.
My big concern was looking at your lovely sock perched precariously there.......... and hoping that the next photo would not be the sigh of it's pinkness sailing off into a gust of wind. Ack.
Regarding Anne's comment about Newfoundland hospitality and the stranded September 11th air travellers, see an ABC news piece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxaxrlusQC8
It wasn't one aircraft but over 6,000 passengers that the town (population 10,000) helped. This exemplifies the Newfoundland spirit.
Well with the rain bit (I'm originally from the lower mainland) think of it this way would you rather be in rain or snow? I love the rain, but I grew up with it too. PS It's a great excuse to sit and knit and drink hot chocolate topped up with something yummy.
Lovely, but the West Coast is really where's its at...come to Corner Brook, my dear. It's a 24-hour spinning frolic over here!
I've been to Newfoundland once when I was a very young thing - we went over, probably from Halifax, near where my grandfather was from. Unfortunately I remember nothing. Only the stories that begin, "Remember when we went to Newfoundland?" and wander off to personal recollections and nothing whatsoever about how freaking beautiful it is. I never knew.
When I saw the (back of) the handsome man in yesterday's photo holding out the sock, I wondered if it was Joe and then said to myself, no, Joe has longer hair than that. Silly me, I forgot that my own husband had to cut his hair two weeks ago for a new job - after 40 years of wearing it in a ponytail or braid down his back. It's quite a shock and no-one now living remembers him having short hair.
Oh well, life is full of changes. Hair, bridges to PEI, time marches on. And so does knitting.
A word of advice for those flying across the Atlantic with knitting needles. I just got back from Ireland. I carefully checked the Aer Lingus web site before leaving Chicago and noted that NO scissors were allowed, but no mention was made of knitting needles. I happily knitted my way from Chicago to Dublin. However, my needles were confiscated at the Dublin airport on my way back to Chicago. Oddly, they appear NOT to be allowed on westbound planes. A nice young man at the scanner helped me remove the points from my circular with a pair of (undoubtedly) confiscated scissors, so at least I didn't have to figure out what to do with 420+ loose stitches.
This American thanks you for the maps! And wow, the Irises. *sighs* I can imagine how beautiful it must be under the sun, with the blue flowers waving through the green grass and the white sheep happily grazing away . . .
Just one question though -- where's the lighthouse? Admittedly, I may be tired (I've been working twelve hours at this point) but I don't see the lighthouse . . .
Stephanie, your visit to Cape St Mary's seems to have left the same impression on you and your family as it did on me. I'll never forget it. The birds, the cliffs, the sounds, the smells.... the serenity of it all. Newfoundland is truly wonderful. Have a great holiday.
Reminds me of the very north of Scotland near John O'Groats.
While you are there, try to find some Newman's Port. If memory serves, it was named for a port near St. John's, and has a very cool story attached to it. I sailed for two weeks in Nova Scotia last year, and was introduced to this lovely beverage by a friendly, retired professor on Cape Breton. Unofortunately, it is nowhere to be had in Chicago!
Thanks for this great post.
We have a small house on the Brittany coast in France and it looks like it is the "other side" twin of where you are - including the birds! We look out onto the Sept Îles (Seven Islands), one of which is a totally white bird island and the area is one of the few that has some really rare seabirds, including puffins, as well as seals.
Really makes you believe that the lands parted some time way back to make way for the sea...
You describe the place so well. The noise, and the smell, are hard to capture in pictures. The Avalon Peninsula is such a beautiful spot on this earth. Thanks for brining it back. When we were there we could see some whales breaching in the water just off the coast. Perfect!
if we but look
we shall see
of our time
in this our
place in time
Thanks so much for taking us all along on your vacation. My Canadian-born grandmother used to sing the "St. Mary's song" (our name for it); I'd forgotten about that. Found this link to a great utube rendition, complete with photos:
YOu are living a cross between an Impressionist painting and a truly amazing National Geographic special. [Have they ever done one on sheep?]
I'm jealous. Newfoundland is the only province I have never been to.
Wow, what a beautiful place. But...weren't you worried about dropping your sock off the edge?
I wonder what the Newfoundland tourism bureau is going to think when suddenly all these people start showing up there wanting to see the birds at Cape St. Mary's and a map indicating all yarn stores? They'll be scratching their heads and wondering which ad brought all those knitters with a fixation on birds.
You will be responsible for a very sharp rise in the number of tourists visiting NFLD if you keep this up. I'm with you.... I just LOVE NFLD!!
"We were pretty stunned"
The sock looks stunned too! LOL. It's hiding behind the rock. :)
Well, if you drove to Cape St. Mary's, then you drove right by Salmonaire - which is where Jim's father's family is from. (and the possible future home of the knitting retreat, smile)
When we were there some years ago seeing the land and visiting the graves (what, what's weird about that?) people started coming out of the woodwork like crazy in this deserted little town and coming up to Jim and saying "You must be Leonard's boy". His dad, Leonard, had left the town 60 years before and had never been back, yet they all knew Jim right away. There's nobody on this earth like a Newfoundlander.
Thanks for the maps,the photos and for giving those of us who live in the USA a chance to know more about Canada. Newfoundland is lovely and wild. I was surprised to see irises at this time of year since ours have been done for months now!I suspect it might just be a wee tad cooler in Newfoundland than it is here in Southern Ohio!
Thanks for the info about the gannets. Daphne Du Maurier's novella "The Birds" (loose source for the Hitchcock movie of the same name) is one of the things I have my ninth grade English students read every year, and Cornish gannets, possibly a branch of the same family as Newfie gannets, are some of the biggest, scariest birds in the story.
Wildlife and ocean views and hikes along cliffs. Sounds lovely, even with the damp.
Beautiful. Makes me wonder why I'm going to New Mexico next week . . . just hoping it's cooler at 7000 ft.
Wow... I love your day--it totally beats mine! (Disneyland--not nearly so peaceful!)
Oh, you make me miss Newfoundland so much! I've only ever been three times in my whole life. My mother is from Stephenville, so whenever we go, we never make it to the eastern parts of the island. When we go, we camp along the way and stay with friends and visit family, so staying on the western side is how it's always worked out. Next time, though? Avalon peninsula, indeed. Now I want to bust out my holiday photos from last time (it rained nearly every day, too) just to wonder at the beauty of it all. Thanks for your photolog of your trip!
I've only ever seen this from 25,000 feet up. It looks magnificent from there, but much more colourful your way.
You're doing wonders for their tourist industry.
It looks like Scotland. I wonder if they were once joined...